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Sonangol ditches Trafigura as main supplier of oil products


Part of an attempt to broaden its supply base

Total to supply 1.2 million mt gasoline

Glencore to supply marine gasoil and gasoil

Trafigura has lost Angola's Sonangol as its key customer for refined products, making way for Glencore and Total to supply the country with fuel imports for the next 12 months.

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It marked a decisive shift for OPEC member Angola, which had been heavily reliant on trading houses like Trafigura and Vitol, with the former being very active in the country's oil sector.

Late Friday, state-owned Sonangol said Total will supply the country with 1.2 million mt of gasoline in the next 12 months, while Glencore will be responsible for imports of 480,000 mt of marine gasoil and 2.1 million mt of gasoil.

Sonangol issued a rare public tender in January seeking almost 4 million mt of refined products, in a move to diversify its supply sources.

"It should be noted that with the results achieved in the tender, the country and Sonangol will benefit from a considerable reduction in the amounts to be spent on refined products in the next 12 months," Sonangol said.

Total is a key player in Angola's upstream sector, operating some of its pivotal deepwater oil fields while Glencore is an active trader of crude oil and refined products in southern and western Africa.

Sonangol previously said the tender was part of a "medium-term strategy to bring greater competitiveness to the Angolan oil import market, while the import segment is not liberalized".

The Angolan downstream sector is the one of the least diversified in sub-Saharan Africa.

In November, President Joao Lourenco -- who came to power in mid-2017 -- began a major shake-up at Sonangol by dismissing Isabel dos Santos as chairwoman and also removing other top executives.

Angola's economy, which depends on oil for about 98% of its export revenues, has been fragile due to the significant fall in oil prices since mid-2014, and its output has not grown as expected in the past two years, further hurting the economy.

--Eklavya Gupte,
--Ahila Karan,
--Edited by Daniel Lalor,